Pink String Bracelet Meaning
Whether it’s for you or a loved one, a string bracelet is a uniquely personal piece of jewelry. It may be beaded, have charms or gemstones, or may remain plain. Overall, its design and quality reflects who you are. It also represents your values and beliefs. One of the most effective ways to communicate this is through color.
Colors carry with them the means of expression. Imbued with their own meanings and symbolization, color serves as a unique way to communicate to each other. One color that carries a lot of meaning and weight behind it is pink.
But why do colored bracelets carry so much meaning? And what exactly does a pink string bracelet represent? To understand the answers to these questions, it’s necessary to take a step back and survey string bracelets from a historical perspective. In particular, looking at the history of red string bracelets is the best place to start. Having been a part of world history for a long time, the red wristband is a deeply meaningful piece to wearers, cultures, and religions.
Once this history is revealed, knowing the role that the color pink plays in culture and symbolism will provide a greater sense and appreciation for what pink string bracelets mean. Color meanings are as important as they've ever been, and pink is no exception.
What Does a Red String Bracelet Mean?
The red string bracelet has deep roots in world history. Rituals around these bracelets change from wearer to wearer. However, culture and region play an important part in defining their function and purpose. Thread around the wrist can be traced back to some of the oldest religions, and often represents protection, faith, good luck, and connection. Red string bracelets are particularly rooted in Hinduism, Buddhism, Kabbalah, and Chinese culture.
In Hinduism, the red string bracelet is referred to as ‘kalava’ or ‘kautuka’. Seen as sacred, it is used in many different Hindu celebrations and traditions. Its meaning can vary depending on the region. It may denote marriage, often being worn on the left wrist by married women. The red thread may also symbolize protection or faith.
Tying cord around one’s wrist is a common ceremonial practice in the Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism lineages. During these ceremonies, a religious leader--known as a Lama--will tie the knot and imbue it with a mantra. These bracelets are often given to students and practitioners to represent lessons learned, or to mark the occasion of taking Buddhist vows.
The mystical form of Judaism, Kabbalah has its own red string bracelet traditions and meanings. Wearing this thread comes from the ritual of wrapping red string seven times around the tomb of Rachel, Joseph’s mother. After the wrapping, the string is cut into bracelet lengths and tied to the wearer’s left wrist while reciting a protection prayer. It is tied to the left wrist as that is the receiving side of the body and soul--closest to the heart.
In the Kabbalistic tradition, the string’s red color symbolizes courage, bravery and blood. Wearing the bracelet is believed to ward off evil (or the ‘Evil Eye’) and provide protection and luck.
Red string bracelets, in Chinese culture, refer to beliefs relating to what is known as the Red Thread of Fate. Stemming from East Asia, the Red Thread of Fate is commonly believed to be an invisible red cord linking two soulmates together. Those that are connected by the thread are destined to be together, regardless of the circumstances. Wearing this red string therefore symbolizes marriage, with the color representing good fortune.
There’s no doubt that the red string bracelet has an important cultural and religious significance. But when you change the color, how does the meaning shift? When discussing pink string bracelets, it’s worth understanding both the symbolism of the color and the causes it represents.
The meaning of pink
Colors have long been imbued with symbolism and meaning. As mentioned earlier for example, the color red represents good fortune in Chinese culture. Orange can represent fun or danger, depending on the context. And colors like green and yellow are often associated with spring and summer. Different colors have varied meanings, and may be associated with different causes. The same is true for the color pink.
Pink is a color with a rich history in human culture. Nowadays, it’s often associated with love, kindness, and compassion. It’s also been associated with things like sweetness, childhood, and romance. Japanese culture even associates it with spring, relating to the annual bloom of cherry blossoms. But perhaps pink’s strongest association is with gender.
Today, the color pink is heavily intertwined with femininity. It was first used as a gender signifier prior to WWI, and was later cemented as a color for girls in the 1940s. There is some debate on whether pink was initially intended as a color for boys, but the history isn’t that straightforward. Nonetheless, today we see the color pink as corresponding directly to women and femininity.
Because pink has deep connections to ‘the feminine,’ it has also become a symbol in female causes. For example, it was chosen as the color for the hats worn in the 2017 Women’s March championing women’s rights. But it’s perhaps best known for its role in women’s health--particularly, breast cancer.
Breast cancer awareness
Surprisingly, the color pink representing breast cancer awareness has a fairly recent history. It began in the 1990s with Self Magazine. In 1991, the magazine decided to start publishing an annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month issue. The following year, they continued the tradition, partnering up with corporate sponsors like Estée Lauder. Evelyn Lauder, the company’s senior corporate vice president, was a breast cancer survivor herself and wanted to help maximize the campaign’s impact. That’s when the idea for pink ribbons was born.
Estée Lauder collaborated with Self Magazine and began producing pink ribbons to distribute at their counters nationwide. At the end of the campaign, they had handed out over 1.5 million ribbons. Awareness grew quickly. As a result, 200,000 ‘pink petitions’ were sent to the White House encouraging the government to put more funding into breast cancer research. This ultimately launched the modern pink movement and the rest, as they say, is history. It’s fitting that 100% of the profits from our diamond pink string bracelets are ultimately donated to the organization founded by Evelyn Lauder, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Why wear a pink string bracelet?
Whether you love the color pink, identify with what the color symbolizes, are a breast cancer survivor yourself or just want to support the cause, you can’t go wrong with a pink string bracelet. And while there are deep historical and religious roots underpinning the importance of string bracelets to people across the world, what your string does for you is purely for yourself. Ultimately, it represents what you want it to. Take pride in what you wear--it is a reflection of what you believe in, who you are, and who you want to be.